To be honest, the Chainsmokers 2015 EP, “Roses,” really didn’t excite me. At that point in time, the duo seemed to be following in the familiar steps of Avicii and David Guetta. Steps that led to an array of background beats slathered with an assortment of featured vocalists. This begged the question: What made this group better than any of the other DJs out there?
Then, in 2016, the world was gifted with “Closer.” The Chainsmokers finally released a song that made use of Drew Taggart’s vocal abilities. The song was catchy and the sound was something that many people could vibe with. Also, who doesn’t love Halsey?
After “Closer” hit, many hoped the group would finally realize that its own talent could potentially be more valuable to its brand than hoarding a bunch of random vocalists onto an album. Name-dropping only takes one so far — it was time for them to evolve their sound with something new.
Here enters “MDNO,” and before even listening, the lineup looked fairly promising. There was a glimmer of hope that the fans might finally experience this group at its full potential.
The album delivered.
The perfect word to describe it would be balance. For every song with an extreme beat drop came a song with a calmer presence. One of the most notable features of this album was its ability to connect with both alternative and country fans under the genre of dance by featuring Coldplay and Florida Georgia Line on the album.
The Chainsmokers contributed vocals to a majority of the songs, and surprisingly enough, these weren’t by any means the best songs to come out of this set.
Emily Warren is a hidden gem on this album. The singer-songwriter’s gentle vocals added an interesting contrast to the booming background beats and powerful masculinity in songs such as “Break Up Every Night.” She contributed enough intimacy to the mix to give this album a wide range of elements for the listener to focus on. Plus, the backup vocals she contributed to “Paris” were pure bliss.
Each of the songs came from the songwriter’s personal stories, which is especially apparent in songs such as “The One.” The song says that the singer has, “Got caught up in his [my] own selfishness / It won’t let him [me] be a part of this.” The song talks about how the individual has been too focused on himself and has noticed it’s started to affect the world around him. It’s lyrics like these that connect the fans to the song on a deeper level because everyone has their own memories that they don’t wish to revisit.
Overall, this album’s worth a listen. Some of the songs are better than others, like “It Won’t Kill Ya (feat. Louane),” but that’s usually the case with most artists. Even if you weren’t a fan of the Chainsmokers in 2015, or even 2016 for that matter, it’s still a new year and there’s definitely value in this new album.
Chainsmokers: Memories… Do Not Open review – simpering, shallow Trump-pop
If the Chainsmokers know anything, it’s that no one ever died from hearing a chorus too often. It’s why the American duo were the only bulwark against an all-Sheeran UK top 10 last month. This debut doesn’t dare vary their formula: instantly memorable yet completely forgettable music, with all the personality and passion of an invoice. The female singers all sound like a Sia guide vocal for Rihanna; the men mostly simper shallow emo-EDM cliches about failing relationships. Eventually everything sounds the same - the more you hear the less there is to listen to. This is Trump-pop: shallow, always betraying its influences, with a third-grade vocabulary and ambition that runs no further than emptying the nearest wallet.
Watch The Chainsmokers Make 'Memories' on 'Saturday Night Live'
The Chainsmokers made their Saturday Night Live debut on the April 8 episode, hot on the heels of their first studio album, Memories... Do Not Open, which dropped Friday.
Drew Taggart and Alex Pall performed "Paris," the lead single from the new album, released at the beginning of the year. The second performance was "Break Up Every Night" -- not their second Memories single "Something Just Like This."
The EDM duo is having a great year. They won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording, and in March, became the third group to have three simultaneous top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. And now this, their SNL debut.